McCarthy Frustrated By Failure to Take Chances
Saturday, 8th Apr 2017 18:14
Boss Mick McCarthy was frustrated that his side was unable to take their chances during their 3-1 defeat at Fulham. Town spurned a number of opportunities to get themselves back into the game at 2-0 and then conceded the Cottagers third which all but sealed the home side’s victory.
“It’s frustrating really because we’ve had good chances and certainly in the second half we had three great chances before they scored,” McCarthy said.
“Unfortunately, probably the tale of our season, we didn’t score them and we let one in the other end.”
Was the difference between the teams the ability to take chances? “I’d say so, a big part of it anyway. They didn’t defend particularly well either.
“Their keeper [Marcus Bettinelli], I’m sure Slavisa thinks it was a good decision to change him because of the performance they got out of him.”
He added: “We had our chances in the first half and we had our chances in the second half.”
David McGoldrick’s chance just before the break which hit the post was a key moment, McCarthy admitted.
“Quite clearly we would have all felt better and the players certainly would [coming in at the break],” he said.
“And the reality is that we should have scored after half-time because we did have good chances. But their keeper’s made good saves and we’ve not managed to score.”
McCarthy switched the Blues to 4-4-2 at half-time, bringing Tom Lawrence on for defender Tommy Smith, and felt it gave his side momentum or down to Fulham taking their foot off the gas given their lead.
“It did [give us momentum], I’ll have a look at it, whether [it was that] they gave the ball away, they thought they were comfortable and we pressed it,” he added.
“I didn’t think we were bad in the first half, we just gave away two really soft goals, certainly the second one. But good finishes from them. I changed it, it needed to be changed to get something out of the game.”
He added: “They put Chris Martin in so they’d got an option to knock the ball long. They did and I don’t think we dealt with that particularly well. He’s a threat up there, he can win balls and keep it up there. I guess Slav got his tactics right today.
“They’re a good team. There are two choices, you either try and stop them playing and push up on top of them, which we did. And they didn’t pass through us from the back.
“What they did was put it up to Martin and he knocked it down to midfield and they got their chances from that.”
McCarthy stuck with the same side which beat Wigan on Tuesday, aside from Tommy Smith replacing the injured Steven Taylor, but says they came up against much stiffer opposition.
“They were a much different, much better team, a harder venue to play at. As has been proved all season for them, they’re a really good side.
“That’s the dilemma, change that winning team and we lose and it’s ‘Why did you change it?’.
“Don’t change a winning a team and it’s ‘Should we have rested someone?’. I don’t think we looked tired, not at all, and I thought Didzy and Freddie were a constant threat yet again.
“I think you’ve seen me now for almost five years and if we’ve played well and had a good result it’s very rare [that I change it]. It’s hard to justify it. They weren’t tired, they weren’t tired at all. They’ve taken their chances and we haven’t in the end.”
One positive was the return of Tom Lawrence following his groin injury: “It’s great to have him back, you could see he’s a threat with his delivery.
“Although even he got booed when he put one out with his first freekick but the second was on the button and Berra scores. Unfortunately it was a little bit too late.”
The large Town following again made their frustrations with McCarthy and owner Marcus Evans clear during the second half. How did their chanting make him feel on the touchline? “It made me think I’m going to go home and have a beer.”
Slavisa Jokanovic was pleased with his side's display, although admitted they didn't have it all their own way.
“Today we showed the character and our ambition and played with confidence. We scored three goals and we could have scored some more goals," he said.
"To be honest we were in some kind of trouble during the game but this time we knew better how to survive these moments.
“We should have finished the game with a clean sheet, we were so close, at the end they scored the goal and I’m not sure if the situation was legal or illegal. But generally I am happy.
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